If you’ve found yourself stressing about finals week, you’re not alone – take it from a fellow college student.
According to Mental Health America, finals week is the most stressful time of the semester, often leading students to cope negatively, resulting in additional physical and emotional stress. Some common signs of stress to be aware of are troubles with sleeping, problems with concentration, a change in or loss of appetite, and feeling irritable, nervous, and/or overwhelmed.
These signs and ways to combat them may seem obvious but can be easily forgotten when in the midst of a chaotic week in which caffeine is the only thing keeping you afloat. Trust me, I’ve been there – which is why I’m here to provide you with some advice I wish I had taken my first (second, and third) years during finals week.
First and foremost, diamonds might be made under pressure, but I can assure you – your final paper should never be written under pressure at the last minute.
I’d be lying if I said I haven’t spent many nights huddled over my laptop, feverishly typing nonsense just to meet the page requirements of a paper due the next day, but with that being said – I highly do not recommend this technique.
Make a clear outline and give yourself multiple days to work on papers and longer assignments – that way revision and editing can be done with fresh eyes, not at 3 a.m. when you’ve finally completed the paper and decide you get what you get and you don’t get upset.
Because you will totally get upset.
To go along with that, make sure to stay well-rested. Although it may feel necessary to pull an all-nighter before a huge exam or presentation, it’s definitely not worth it. Staying focused and recalling information you’ll be tested on is much easier after a night of good sleep.
Not only is it important to catch some z’s, but keeping up with your appetite and water intake is also extremely vital. Stress affects the digestive system and often leaves people with a decreased appetite.
If you’re anything like me, getting through meals during stressful times can be really difficult, so to combat this, try keeping a granola bar and a water bottle in your bag – that way you’re consuming something other than your morning coffee.
Lastly, remember you’re not alone during this week of terror. It’s crucial not to isolate yourself for the sake of your studies. It’s common to feel irritable or overwhelmed by the end of the semester, which calls for a night of relaxation. Grab some friends for a fun night out – they’ll probably need it and appreciate it just as much as you will. Just remember not to overdo it.
This year we are not just surviving finals week – we are thriving during finals week.